A young man is plunged into a life of subterfuge, deceit and mistaken identity in pursuit of a femme fatale whose heart is never quite within his grasp. Remake of François Truffaut's 1969 film 'Mississippi Mermaid'
A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt. Written by
a thriller with an interesting twist on the old detective vs. a suspect who happens to be an irresistible babe as well as a hard as nails dame.
I gave this film a 10 in part because 12 years after seeing it for the first -- and only -- time, it still evokes a spontaneous "wow, it was great" whenever I think of it. The screenplay was truly excellent in its genre, leaving you guessing and revising your guess throughout the film. It should also be commended for daring to portray an "uber"- homosexual with no apology to either conservative homophobes or the zealously politically correct.
Douglas merits praise for this performance, which was so good that I was able to put my intense dislike of him for personal reasons aside and worry about the safety of the character he portrayed in the film.
As for Sharon Stone, it only takes one performance like the one in this film to make an indelible mark. Superb. I had no idea who Sharon Stone was when I went to see this film and I left the theater as mesmerized by her screen presence as I had been by Faye Dunaway's in Bonnie and Clyde and Kristin Scott Thomas in Brideshead Revisited. The caliber of her breakthrough in this film matches that of Russell Crowe in L.A. Confidential and Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted.
In much the same way as Glenn Close set the standard for a certain character type in Fatal Attraction, Stone established the standard for another character type against which all subsequent interpretations should be measured. If it were only to see how beautiful Stone is in this film it would be well worth the rental. She leaves as unforgettably stylish and seductive an impression as Rita Hayworth's Gilda did in a role that might be thought of as the anti-Gilda.
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